Welcome to the Thursday edition of Word-Slingers. As promised, the spotlight is fixed on Nana Malone, another repeat visitor. I love the sound of her new book, and hope you will too!
Nana’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense she borrowed from her cousin on a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana at a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination, and channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
Waiting for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana, meantime works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as sassy and kick butt as she thinks she is. Though, until that ninja job comes through, you’ll find her acting out scenes for hubby and puppy while catching up on her favorite reality television shows in sunny San Diego.
The enemy of her enemy is her friend.
Almost one year after escaping Gentech Facilities, Symone Jackson lives in the shadows with her nightmares. Thanks to horrible genetics experiments at the hand of Peter Reeser, her mere touch is lethal. It may be safer to stay in the darkness, but despite the monster she has become, she wants to be the hero…and only one man can help her.
Garrett Hunter thought he was one of the good guys, but on routine surveillance of a suspected terrorist, he discovers the awful truth…he’s not the only super human around. When Peter Reeser gave him the opportunity to beat a debilitating illness he jumped at the chance. But his decision to save the enemy—Symone Jackson—will endanger the only family he has.
The way to salvation is with Garrett’s help. Can Symone overcome her mistrust and stop living in the shadows? Or will her nightmares become reality?
“It’s Symone. Turn on the TV. She’s been exposed.”
Without even a second for the thought, Cassie’s cell phone flew into her hand and the remote into the other. Telekinesis sure was handy for some things. She dialed Symone’s number by memory and checked the satellite television for news of Symone while she waited for her friend to pick up. Just their luck, one of the Miami stations was running the story of a baffling robbery gone awry.
Cassie tried not to smile at the resignation in Symone’s voice. It had been too long since they’d spoken. Cassie missed her friend. Wished she’d come home. “Just what part about lying low did you not understand?”
“Chill, I’m in no mood for an ass chewing. Besides, I’m laying low. Sorta.”
“It’s all over the news, Symone. Three male assailants stopped mid-robbery. One thrown through the window of one of the store fronts. Do you want to explain?”
Symone let out a long breath. “I promise, I wasn’t seen. Cassie, what’s the point of my powers if I’m not allowed to use them to help anybody?”
Cassie sucked in a deep breath, trying to stave off a sudden bout of nausea and the strange urge for Oreo cookies. “Symone, look. I’m not saying you shouldn’t help anybody, but you could have been hurt. It’s dangerous out there. There could still be some people trying to continue Peter’s work, we have to be careful and stay hidden. Can you imagine if someone got the drop on you? What would happen if you landed in the hospital? One look at your genetic makeup, and it would be another lab. There are still scary things out there.”
“You seem to forget I’m one of the things that goes bump in the night. Besides, what was I supposed to let them do, hurt that girl?”
“What girl?” Cassie didn’t like the sounds of this. Given Symone’s past history of being on the streets, she was always trying to bring in strays. Some worthy of her help. Several not. But Cassie couldn’t tell her not to help someone. It was what she would do herself.
“Let me guess she needs some help.”
“The Miami Street Kings had her rob a lawyer’s office for some files. They threatened to kill her if she didn’t. They’re not just going to leave her alone now. She’s got no one looking out for her on the street. I need to get her somewhere safe.”
Cassie knew there was no point arguing with Symone. When her friend wanted something, she got it. “I’ll make some calls. I might be able to get her placement in Atlanta. That girl—can she identify you? Do I need to come down there?”
Symone stayed quiet for several heartbeats. “She won’t be a problem.”
“How can you be so sure? All we need is one blabbermouth claiming they saw Wonder Woman, or Super Girl, or some such nonsense, and that’s it, lights out. My brother and his Trackers will come looking for you and the others.”
“Peter’s dead.” Symone didn’t buy into Seth’s vision that Peter had survived the explosion a couple of years ago. She thought Peter was just the Boogeyman Cassie and Seth used to scare them all into complying with the rules.
“You keep telling yourself he’s dead. I have to act like he’s a real and present danger. I need to keep you all protected.”
“Look. I know. I don’t want to endanger anyone. I just didn’t want that kid to get hurt. I’ll be more careful next time.”
“You have to think of yourself first, Symone.” Cassie let her exasperation weave in and around her clipped words.
“I hear you, okay? Just please don’t yank me.”
A pang pierced Cassie’s heart. “Symone, I couldn’t yank you back, even if I wanted to. I’m not your mother, and the Lair is not a prison. It’s your home for as long as you want it. I’m not your warden. I hope you think of me as your friend.”
Jansen Michaels, resident human and bomb expert, strolled into the kitchen. His gaze honed in on Seth’s frown, then he looked at Cassie. “Is that Symone?”
He snatched the phone out of her hand without preamble. “Symone, come home. No—stop. I’m not listening. I said come home. You belong here.”
When Cassie had first met the towering ex-marine, he’d terrified her. His countenance was usually easy going, and he seemed very much like the surfer he appeared to be. But he was lethal. He’d helped her when she needed it most. He’d saved her friends. She owed him a debt she couldn’t pay back. And truth was, he was almost more attached to the kids than she was. Especially Symone. He’d carried her out and away from the burning building and continued to have a soft spot for her. He’d been torn up when she left.
His voice continued to drop in octaves until it was barely more than a growl. “Symone, it’s not safe. You have to come—” He abruptly yanked the phone from his ear. “She fucking hung up on me.”
Cassie quirked an eyebrow. “Wouldn’t be the first time.”
And there you have it. Another fabulous sounding book from Ms. Malone! Check it out! Coming up on Monday (8/6) is another spotlight which will be fixed on Misa Buckley.